Guide to Living in Fethiye for First Time Expats in Turkey

Ah, so you are thinking of living in Fethiye – Turkey. Congratulations on your choice of destination. We adore Fethiye for more reasons than one. Additionally, many of our clients have purchased homes in Fethiye for either use as a holiday home, year-round living, or a long-term real estate investment, therefore proving the addictive lure among foreign nationalities from around the globe.

The Fethiye region in Turkey, a sophisticated area with a laid-back touristic ambience, sits in the Mugla province, on Turkey’s Mediterranean south coast. Stunning landscapes, bays, coves, and sandy beaches attract foreigners eager to see Mother Nature’s beautiful natural sites. Reached by Dalaman airport, roughly one hour away, the Fethiye region includes the town centre and other smaller resorts like Oludeniz, Hisaronu, Ovacik, Uzumlu and Calis Beach.

Fethiye sunset

About Living in Fethiye

What is the Weather Like in Winter?

Fethiye has a typical Mediterranean summer with hot summers and no rain or wind. Temperatures drop in October, and nights become cold; however, days are still great for getting active and exploring. The rainy season generally arrives around January and lasts through to February. Many expats in Fethiye view winter as a time to dial down and recharge their batteries after a summer spent on the beach, around the pool, on boats and alfresco dining. They use portable heaters and air-conditioned units to heat their home, or in newer, luxury properties, they switch on the underfloor heating.

About Tourism in Fethiye

Fethiye mainly relies on tourism for income, which is seen in bars, restaurants, hotels, travel agents and boating industries. The primary tourism season runs from May to October. Outside these months, some places in quiet areas might close for winter, but Fethiye town centre, in particular, carries on as nothing has changed, and residents still have access to a wide range of social amenities. Daily life in Fethiye is just a pace slower.

Exploring and Making Friends

We always advise clients who purchase a house through us to explore neighbouring areas of Fethiye. Whether you hire a car or join day trip excursions, learning about your surroundings will make you feel more at home. Prominent landmark sights to get to know in Fethiye include Oludeniz Beach, Gemiler Island, Sovalye Island, Butterfly Valley, Yaka Park, Fethiye rock tombs, Saklikent Canyon, Tlos Ancient City, Calis Beach, and Kayakoy Ghost Village. Otherwise, many social groups in Fethiye give you the chance to make new friends and join people with like-minded interests.

Fethiye’s football team has many fans, including foreign which expats. In addition, the Calis Beach Life group organises various events and fundraises for community projects. Joining local Fethiye Facebook groups will also keep you informed of upcoming social activities to attend. Other groups include Fethiye International Group (FIG) and Let’s Keep Turkey Clean, who often organise clean-ups of surrounding areas. Everyone finds it easy to settle in and make friends in Fethiye because Turkish communities ensure every stranger becomes a friend.


To Rent or Buy Property in Fethiye

This is personal preference, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Consider making a list of pros and cons for your lifestyle expectations. Some expats decide to rent first to see if they like living here, while others know that Fethiye will permanently be their home. If renting, ask for a contract lasting more than one year. If you want to buy property, see our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale in many areas of Fethiye. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, location, home features, photos and contact details to find out more or arrange a viewing. Alternatively, if you are already in Fethiye, drop by our office on Cahit Gunduz Caddesi in the Tuzla neighbourhood and chat with one of our local agents.

Cost of Living

Naturally, living costs vary depending on your lifestyle, but as a general guide, a couple with a monthly budget of 10,000 Turkish lira will have a good lifestyle. Significant factors that eat into your budget include smoking, drinking, and running a car. Household bills are relatively cheap, and when eating out, budget to luxury restaurants feature every international cuisine. Do not forget to factor in additional costs like residency, healthcare, flights to see family back home, and a rainy-day fund—more about the cost of living in Turkey.

Fethiye sailing

Bringing Pets into Fethiye

Turkey has set procedures to bring pets into the country but always check for updates because they can change. Foreigners can bring two dogs or cats into Turkey, which must be microchipped. You also need a health certificate from a government vet in your home country that shows your pet is vaccinated. Do not forget a pet passport, rabies vaccination certificate, and titer blood test. When your pet arrives, a Turkish government vet will inspect them. Please note, Turkey has banned the following breeds; American Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, certain breeds of Mastiff, Pitbull Terriers, Japanese Toga, Dogo Argentine, and Fila Brasilein. Many people bring their pets in by road because it is a gentler journey than flying. Check Google for pet transpiration services if you would like professional help.

Can I Bring My Car to Turkey Permanently?

Yes, but many foreign residents buy a car in Turkey because there are fewer restrictions. For example, you can not have spent more than 180 days in Turkey within the last 365 days. If you ask someone to bring the car, they will need power of attorney. You must pre declare that you will be bringing your vehicle in via a lengthy screening process. Next, you need to get a Foreign Vehicles Temporary Entry Certificate. Specific paperwork needs to be translated and notarised. Lastly, you can only use your car in Turkey for two years and then will need to take the car out again. Therefore, many expats buy cars in Turkey or use local transport systems instead.

Are there Private Schools in Fethiye?

Yes, they are. Two examples include ATA Ozel Fethiye, and UGUR Okullar, both of which do kindergarten to middle school. People are generally divided over whether state schools or private schools are better. Some expats choose to put their kids in state schools and then pay for a tutor to come to the house rather than pay expensive private school fees. When choosing education for your child, one thing to consider is whether they will permanently stay in Turkey. If not, select a private school but make sure they issue internationally recognised qualifications.

Where to Live in Fethiye

Calis Beach: Originally built to cope with an overspill of tourism from Fethiye town centre, Calis beach has become a verified resort. Every year, many holidaymakers descend to enjoy the beach, warm sea waters and long promenade with various bars and restaurants. The resort is also home to an expat community, including Brits. Calis beach sits 1.7 kilometres from Fethiye town so although, the resort has all amenities, should you want a wider choice, it is only a short bus ride away.

Ovacik and Hisaronu instead of Oludeniz: Many people want to live in Oludeniz, but the area is under protection from construction; hence there are no available properties. Therefore, they turn to the nearby resorts of Ovacik and Hisaronu that sit side by side, about 4 kilometres in. Both sit within a quick bus ride of Oludeniz, and like Calis Beach, were initially built to accommodate an overspill of tourism from Oludeniz. Both resorts promote a family-friendly atmosphere, and many properties are large villas, making this ideal if the grandkids come and stay.

Upmarket Gocek: This small town sits on Fethiye’s outskirt region and is perfect for those who want an upscale, sailing vibe. Gocek’s six ultramodern marinas often host yachts from around the world, and while the town lacks beaches, there are many coves and bays to sail to. In addition, property buyers adore Gocek because local laws state that no building can be over two stories high, hence retaining a unique, luxury vibe.

Kayakoy Village: Do not think of the ghost village with the same name, but rather a group of houses in another part of this district. Homes here keep the traditional stone architecture style, and many renovated cottages keep their original theme but include all modern living cons. Albeit, buying a home in Kayakoy can be pricey because of its historical value and finding one to rent is even more challenging. Living in Kayakoy means maintaining a quiet lifestyle but with all amnesties, a short bus ride away.

Mountain Uzumlu: Sitting high in the mountain districts, Uzumlu is the favoured destination for those who want to build their villa. The land is much cheaper; hence size is no object. The town is also home to a small community of expats, who live there all year round, and they reach the amenities of Fethiye town centre within a 30-minute drive.

Fethiye Centre: Choose this area to be in the heart of Fethiye, with good shopping, transport, and nightlife scenes on your doorstep. The town centre is a sailing hub of the Turkish riviera, yet is about much more than that. Residents also enjoy Fethi park for weekend strolls and family time with the kids. Neighbourhoods to choose from in Fethiye town centre include Tuzla, Karagozler, Cumhuriyet, Foca, and Tasaka.

Seydikemer: This town is still relatively unheard of in mainstream tourism and expat living scenes. A few expats live there simply because they like to be off the beaten track and enjoy stunning mountain views. Sitting 30 kilometres from Fethiye centre, the Esen River runs through the town, which keeps a rural atmosphere. Do not underestimate Seydikemer, though, because there is much future potential, including a new state of the art hospital.

Faralya: This is another destination that remains off the beaten track from Fethiye, and should you want to live here, buy a car since bus transport can be ad-hoc, especially during winter. What residents look forward to is stunning sea views, and for those who love the great outdoors, an adventure playground on your doorstep full of trekking routes. Do not expect a wide choice of homes for sale in Faralya, but do expect tranquillity and the joy of Mother Nature.

Sovalye Island: If money is no object, how about living on an island? Sitting just off the coastline, Sovalye maintains an upmarket vibe, with some homes boasting luxury furnishings and fittings. At night, a few locals come over from the mainland to enjoy the seaside restaurants. To liven things up a bit, hop onto the local water taxi to the mainland.

More Information About Fethiye

Mugla Province: Fethiye belongs to the Mugla province of Turkey that covers a large part of the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. This article talks more about the area, prominent destinations, interesting facts about why Mugla is one of Turkey’s top touristic and expat destinations, and more things to know for anyone planning on living in Fethiye.



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